“Even on typical 20-degree spring or summer day, it’s extremely dangerous,” says Jasmine Hanson, Saskatoon SPCA communications co-ordinator. “A lot of people don’t realize that dogs are a lot more susceptible to heatstroke than humans are.
“In just as little as 10 to 15 minutes, your dog could suffer severe and irreversible brain damage.”
Last year, a record number of calls came into the SPCA about pets being left in vehicles, Hanson said.
“Last year, 194 people called the (Saskatoon) SPCA, and said, ‘Hey I see an animal left in a vehicle,’ and in many of those circumstances, we did have to intervene.”
SPCA officers will take the temperature of the car with a temperature gun, and then decide how to proceed from that point to protect the animal.
“We can break into a vehicle if necessary, with help from a towing company, and we will get them medical attention if we think it’s necessary. If we don’t think we have to intervene right away we will wait around until you return from your vehicle, at the very least you are going to get some education, and we always record these incidents,” Hanson said.
“So there are consequences for repeat offenders. You could be charged with animal neglect.”
The SPCA says if you plan to be away from your vehicle for any period of time, it’s best to leave your pet at home for their safety.